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Small businesses see record hourly employee earnings growth

Small businesses see record hourly employee earnings growth

Wage growth reached a new high for the employees of small businesses in the U.S. in November, according to aggregated payroll data of roughly 350,000 Paychex Inc.’s clients with fewer than 50 employees.  

The data released in the latest Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows hourly earnings growth improved to 4.07 percent, the highest level since reporting began ten years ago. Small business hiring also increased for the month, with the Small Business Jobs Index up 0.27 percent in November to 100.72.   

“The positive gains in hourly earnings growth show that employers are responding to tight labor conditions with higher wages,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex CEO. “This growth comes at an opportune time for many Americans who are seeing higher costs for goods this holiday season due to supply chain and inflation pressures.” 

In further detail, the November report showed: 

  • The national jobs index reached its highest level since March 2017, although growth slowed from 0.50 percent in October to 0.27 percent in November. 
  • At a national level, hourly earnings growth has steadily increased, from 2.99 percent in June to 4.07 percent in November. 
  • Of the 20 largest states based on U.S. population, all have hourly earnings growth above three percent. 
  • With hourly earnings growth at record levels, weekly earnings growth is also on the rise, increasing by nearly a full percentage point from August (2.54 percent) to November (3.46 percent). 
  • Leisure and hospitality leads sectors in earnings and hours worked growth for the eighth consecutive month. 
  • The South regained its lead among regions in small business employment growth, bolstered by the South Atlantic division.

The complete results for November, including interactive charts detailing all data, are available at 

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